Maxim Magazine - 3 'free' issues turned into unauthorized charges to credit card

Posted on Saturday, February 15th, 2003 at 12:00am CST by 2b7623d5

Company: Maxim Magazine - 3 'free' issues turned into unauthorized charges to credit card

Category: Other

Complaints.com received the following consumer message on February 13, 2003:

From: John Carey [COMPLAINTS.COM_FORM_MAIL_21930#]

RE: Maxim Magazine - 3 'free' issues turned into unauthorized charges to credit card

Maxim Magazine has circumvented sophisticated fraud blocking techniques by a major US bank to repeatedly post charges to my account, knowing full well that I never subscribed to their magazine and that I had expressly directed that they are not authorized to bill my card. Following are the circumstances surrounding this case of credit card theft. Some months ago I purchased a piece of software from an online vendor (I'm not sure which one and I don't want to indict the wrong party) and as I was completing the checkout process, a window popped up and asked if I would like to take an online survey.

At the time I was running a Web design division for a major consultancy and I was curious to see how they had designed the questionnaire. After completing the questions, a window said "congratulations, we'd like to offer you three free gifts in thanks for your time", or words to that effect. I selected my free prizes, one of which was three issues of Maxim Magazine. Nowhere in this offer was there any mention of this free gift becoming a paid subscription. As far as I knew, I would get three issues and that would be the end of it. Some months later I saw charges on my credit card for Maxim Magazine. I immediately called my bank, filed a complaint of fraud and was assured that the charges would be reversed. The fraud investigator, who was very helpful, suggested that I closeout that card and have a new card issued. She assured me that this was the best way of blocking further fraudulent charges from hitting the card. I agreed and went through all of the hassle required to have that card cancelled and a new one issued. Today, several months after closing out the old card, I open my statement to find that Maxim Magazine has, once again, fraudulently billed charges to my card. A second complaint of fraud has been filed with my bank, and I’m considering a Web site that will advise consumers to be on the lookout for this scam and build a database of other unfortunates who have been cheated in a like manner. To the publishers of Maxim Magazine, I ask the following: Is your magazine so pitifully bad that you have to defraud consumers in an effort to build your subscriber base?

Is your product so poor that you need to lie, cheat and steal in order to get people to even look at it?

Is criminal activity a common institutional activity at Dennis Publishing, or is this the work of a few enterprising bunco artists in the subscription department?

Please share with us how many other consumers are being bilked on a monthly basis?

And finally, can I ask you people to please stop stealing my money?

To any subscribers of Maxim Magazine who might be reading this, perhaps you'd like to call their Headquarters in NY at 212.302.2626 and ask for Keith Blanchard who is the Editor-in-Chief. I think it's only fair that Keith be given the opportunity to answer for all of this. While you’re at it, you might tell Keith that you’re going to cancel your subscription and just steal the magazine from a newsstand. After all, one good turn deserves another. Dennis Publishing can settle with me by making a $10,000 charitable contribution to the Union Gospel Mission in Dallas, Texas - and issue a full-page apology in their ridiculous magazine. Barring that, they are going to continue to hear from me. John C. Dallas, TX


6 Comments

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c7ce8015, 2009-02-14, 06:52PM CST

Thank you for the number, because NOWHERE online could I find an authentic unsubscribe. We started receiving multiple subscriptions of Maxim magazine last month without an order being placed. We are very displeased to have had this visual (in my opinion sexually suggestive, cutting a thin line to pornographic trash) coming into our home, and will now intercept it for the recycle bin before it can. At least it will not then literally be trash. This is not the type of magazine that should just be sent out randomly; I think it is inappropriate for young children and I certainly don't want my kids exposed it. I called the number you provided to Alpha Media, which publishes more than one magazine. I am expecting that once I contact their customer care center at 386-447-6312, open Monday through Friday 7 AM to 12 AM, Weekends 9 AM to 6 PM, that we will be permanently unsubscribed, but you can write me to learn the results. Because of privacy issues (no survey here) I want to know how they got our name and address. WE never intentionally gave them a credit card or any information, so I am thinking that if they don't stop sending them I will just keep recycling them...waste of resources.

d6b759e4, 2009-06-16, 08:04PM CDT

I see this message was left six years ago, but I have my own claim to lay.

Just this morning (Tuesday June 16, 2009), I was finishing up my business in the bathroom when a copy of Maxim was slid under the door by my brother. I came out and joked that he was a tad late for an April Fools prank. Upon closer inspection, I saw that it was indeed addressed to me. I know as a fact that I never subscribed to such garbage. I, too, have made some online transactions recently, accompanied by some small-print (but who's going to remember everything it says?). I wonder if this has anything to do with the problem?

In any case, if this gets any more extensive a problem, I wonder if we might consider going class-action on their ass?

22c0f292, 2009-09-30, 10:10PM CDT

I started receiving Maxim magazine perhaps 6 or more months ago, haven't read it because I'm just not interested, and thought it was some free subscription as other trade mags. I got a phone call tonight from World Wide Readers, telling me that my Maxim subscription was ending prematurely but they took care of it and will continue to bill me $3.99 to my debit card. I asked for thier phone #, and they hung up... weird.

a33a6a86, 2010-09-22, 02:02PM CDT

You can go to their site and change the address ... perhaps to their own address :) We are getting htese also and it appears it is because of something related to a credi card scam, however, someone else's card was charged.

a3772a3b, 2011-01-11, 04:02PM CST

Thanks to Complaints.com I was able to head this off. This kind of fraud makes me livid. They should'nt be able to get away with it. Anyone besides me thinking about a class action lawsuit to teach these people a lesson. Write to me if so here is an email to send to;

[email protected]

6225699d, 2011-01-16, 08:04PM CST

The same scam has been perpetrated on me!! I NEVER subscribed to the magazine MAXIM and have tried repeatedly to find a legitimate "Cancel subscription" venue and can't. I despise this garbage coming to my mailbox. Any ideas how to cancel it? I am furious!!!

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